Day 97 | memories: revisiting the middle of the old Lasseter Highway

77 km | Heading west total: 3,837 km

Strange some of the places you can end up.

A long, long time ago I was hitching around Australia with my girlfriend Robyn, we decided, I think because we had encountered some issues on what were then quite remote roads, to catch a bus out to what was then called Ayres Rock.

This was in the days before the Stuart Highway was fully sealed and the Lasseter Highway was definitely then dirt all the way.

No Yulara Resort, there were a number of 1950s style motels on the south west side of the rock. The only motel that was licensed also had a camping area where we stayed. (This was the one that was later partly demolished by a belligerent driver who when refused service due to intoxication drove his 42 wheel truck into the bar, killing 4 people. Hunters and Collectors later wrote a song about the incident.)

I remember we climbed the Rock and also walked around it. For me the most memorable experience was seeing those stars so brightly right to the horizon as it had recently rained and the skies were exceptionally clear. And, of course, there was no vegetation taller than knee height around the motel and few lights at night.

I’m not going to Uluru this time round: been there twice and instead will turn off to Kings Canyon. Maybe next year if I end up getting on The Great Central Road.

Well, this evening I had to camp somewhere on route to Kings Canyon and I headed off the highway cross country as I saw some good screening trees. I got some surprise when I stumbled on a section of overgrown old road that had been superseded in the early 1980s complete with occasional old bits of tyre and sand blasted aluminium cans.

So I’m camping right in the middle of the old road decades since I was last here.